Occupy movement plans a comeback
Occupy Wall Street organizers, from left, Hussein Amin, Haywood Carey and Pete Dutro have been strategizing over the winter.
March 19th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

Occupy movement plans a comeback

The attempt to re-occupy Zuccotti Park and subsequent arrests of dozens of protesters in New York over the weekend was the start of what Occupy organizers said will be a comeback for the movement this spring and summer. But some city and state governments, armed with new ordinances specifically aimed at the Occupy movement, are ready to prevent demonstrators from re-establishing encampments.

Police in New York put 74 people in handcuffs Saturday night as protesters tried to establish a foothold in the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street, a public plaza in the heart of the financial district. The move followed a week during which protesters tried to occupy several Bank of America branches in New York and more than 100 people demonstrated outside a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“Clearly the Occupy movement as we’ve known it that is sort of occupying public spaces around government structures is facing a stronger legal challenge,” said Gene Policinski, executive director of the Washington-based First Amendment Center, a self-described nonpartisan think tank that educates people about issues surrounding the First Amendment.

Cities around the country are making it more difficult for Occupy demonstrators to set up shop on public land. In Atlanta, the City Council is clarifying rules for local parks by banning things such as tents and plywood. Idaho and Tennessee state legislatures banned camping on public property not designated as a camp site.

A large turnout is also expected at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in August and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Some of the protesters' tactics may not be tolerated, Policinski said, and protesters could be arrested in groups of 400 to 500 and detained for up to two days while police "say they’re sorting out who is actively involved and who is not."

Policinski said that such mass arrests could result in the bulk of Occupy demonstrators winding up in custody while the conventions go on unscathed.

In Charlotte, city officials are prepared to allow protesters to march and hold rallies around the Democratic convention, but camping overnight on public land is out of the question.

“We did not have a prohibition on camping on city property before the Occupy movement came along,” city attorney Bob Hagemann said. “In late January, after a public input process, our City Council passed a couple of ordinances, one of which did prohibit camping.” Soon after, tents and other structures were removed from a local plaza, and the Occupy movement ended its 24-hour presence in the city.

Tampa officials will take a similar approach around the Republican convention.  Occupy organizers are not deterred.

“You’re seeing a lot of folks who are both planning for enormous mass actions and also smaller, little affinity actions,” said Haywood Carey, one of the principal organizers of Occupy Wall Street.

Pete Dutro, who sits on the Occupy Wall Street Finance Committee, said the movement spent the winter strategizing.

“There has been a lot of coordination between the different occupations. There have been a lot of conference calls and Skype calls,” he said.

Amin Hussein, who has been involved in organizing Occupy protests in New York since Day One, said activists have a better sense of where the movement is heading in the coming months.

“We spent a lot of time getting to know each other better and building a sense of community. We’re able to communicate better, and there’s an element of trust and coordination,” Hussein said.

They have less money to work with than they did at the height of the movement though. At a recent Occupy Wall Street general assembly in New York, it was announced that the group has less than $45,000 in its general fund.

But Carey said money is not a factor.

“We were doing what we did before we had money. We’re going to continue doing (it) whether or not we have money," he said.

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soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Sofa King

    Oh. Good. I wasn't sick of those dirty hippies yet.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mittens

      There are hippies in your Mommy's basement?!

      March 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naughty kittens

      You have SOILED you mittens, now you shall have no pie!

      March 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Sofa King what? Lol!

      March 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ancient Texan

    And up until this point, they've accomplished What?

    March 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. BOMBO ©

    Strategizing ove the winter? I'm pleasantly surprised. I assumed they were just lounging around in their parents' basements playing video games over the winter.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. BOMBO ©

    "Haywood, make yourself useful and bring up the laundry. What are you doing down there anyway?"

    "I'm STRATEGIZING Mom!"

    "Well turn the volume down, I'm sick of the Sonic Hedgehog theme!"

    March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. banasy©

    Oh, goody.
    We get to here all about how much people hate the OWSers.
    I can hardly wait.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      I spelled 'hear' wrong.
      Sorry.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      HA! That means you automatically lose!

      (Picture me doing a victory dance)

      March 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I fart in your general direction, BOMBO! lol...

      March 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      Not from me. I'm in Tampa and I'm BORED! Thinking about organizing a march on the GOP convention.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Working nor corporate America doesn't get paid for walking, squatting, or whinning.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Girls don't fart....do they?

    March 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      @Jeff:

      We poot politely.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. EmployedGuy

    Logic of the Left: "Well, that didn't work, so let's do MORE of it! Dmn, that didn't work either. Let's do EVEN MORE!!!!"

    March 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • EmployedGirl

      Logic of the right: let's legislate exising rights out of existence! And when people protest, arrest them!

      March 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Peikovianyi

    They have the faith of true believers. Just like outsider artists who paint schizophrenic views of Paris.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • EmployedGirl

      You have hit the right-winger's philosophy square on the head. Distort, distort, distort!

      March 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. revnowwhilewecan

    A large turnout is also expected at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in August and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Some of the protesters' tactics may not be tolerated, Policinski said, and protesters could be arrested in groups of 400 to 500 and detained for up to two days while police "say they’re sorting out who is actively involved and who is not."

    What am I missing? Arrested for what?

    March 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. revnowwhilewecan

    From the little that I've followed the OWS movement, the only protesting tactics I've seen were from the American taliban plants trying to stir up some people to try and get them to react. As far as I could tell, that didn't work.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. chrissy

    @ rev, arrested for using their free speech amendment! Gosh knows they dont want people questioning government actions during an election year! Lmfao!

    March 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chrissy

    lmao @ rev, they cant keep em, any lawyer can get em off! And if you just happen to be a pedestrian, wow! Can you imagine how thats gonna go over? Lol you dont inhale, yet you know its called *chronic?* lmfao!

    March 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. revnowwhilewecan

    I have Dre's c.d. from 20 years ago. Chronic's been around a loooong time. I remember.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      Hey, rev.
      What's the haps?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      Wassup banasy?
      I've been trying to get ahold of some GOP reps and get involved a little. I figure maybe I can help somehow instead of just complaining about how things are, ya know? I know the guy I like won't win but if me and Alex Jones show up with bullhorns maybe a couple of people will listen.....lol

      March 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ray

    Why is CNN so obsessed with the Occupy Movement?

    March 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • revnowwhilewecan

      @Ray
      I don't think they really care but I think it has to do with liberal or left wing or something.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
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